6-27-04 - Lucky Dog 'n Lakers, Little King and
a Little King!
Waters Fished: Lake Michigan (trolling out of North
Fish Caught: 2/3 aggregate
Outing Date: 6-27-04
Weather: Just another beautiful day
Air Temp: 70's
Water Temp: low 60's at the surface
Water Level: normal
Water Color: clear, visibility 6'+
Fish Species: Chinook Salmon, Lake Trout
Pattern Fished: Trolling Spoons and flies with Dodgers
Pattern Color: Seems like green was what worked for us
Fishing Quality: a slow day
What can I say to start off...well...I caught a
post on Chicago Land Fishing (CLF)
that there was a very affordable pair of slots on a makeup charter
outing with Little King and Capt. Jim of Lucky
Dog Charters. I knew Chromeseeker had been itchin' to get out
on a big boat and do some trolling, so I snapped up this opportunity
immediately. Consider it a lucky find..I'm not what you'd call a
"regular" on CLF!
So Sunday morning I'm up in the UP...it's 5:00
AM when Spin gets me up and we start the drive back to Fon Du Lac...after
that I'm on my own to get down to North Point Marina in IL. I stink,
but somehow I managed to make good time, stop at Lake Como for a
shower, and headed on over.
I got there right after 1:00 PM...Bart was stuck
in traffic was was another one of our crew, who had left O'Hare
only an hour before! Parking at North Point was insane...there's
just one small lot that's public. Well, we found a spot in the grass
and met back up with the Lucky Dog at the fuel pier.
Finally, it's time to get on the water. After getting
out of the harbor Little King started rigging lines...talk about
an education. Truthfully it is, in some respects, easier than you
think. Conversely, if you didn't watch someone else run 12+ rods
simultaneously, you'd have a hard time figuring it out yourself.
So we ended up running 3 downriggers, 1 with a
slider (kinda like fishin' a dropper when fly fishing). 4 planer
boards, a couple dipsey rigs, a lead core, one rod had wire, basically
the entire gamut of trolling methods was out there. Our offerings
consisted of spoons and flies, with and without dodgers / flashers.
And that about sums it up for MUCH of the afternoon.
Fishing on the big pond had been slow for several days...the morning
outing had been better, I think 3 fish...or was it 8? Some kings
and some lake trout. While it seems as though most trollers dislike
lake trout (I've heard them called logs, wet rags etc...) I was
secretly hoping we'd get one...I've never seen a live lake trout
Well, it wasn't even close to a limit. The chatter
over the radio was pretty funny too..NO ONE was really having any
success. Every so often I'd glance over at the huge LCD monitor
that displayed fish-finder readings...you'd see these huge marks
on the screen; no doubt gamefish, and you could even see the underwater
wakes cause by the downrigger balls. You'd see these lines going
right through the mark that represented the fish, and yet nothing
But then again, something did happen. We had been
rerigging some of the lines when one of the guys, I think his name
was Victor, was just sitting in the back corner of the deck. All
of a sudden the rod immediately behind him popped up and started
throbbing...I think it was Capt. Jim who noticed it first and shouted
Victor wheeled around and grabbed the rod. A decent
fight ensued; it lasted long enough to get several pics. When it
was all said and done, there was Capt. Jim holding a nice clean
silver King Salmon.
And then we were back to milling about, watching
the rods, chatting, getting in and out of the sun as need be. As
the afternoon passed on, the clouds thickened and the air cooled....perhaps
this would change things?
YES, but not really. I was standing roughly in
the same corner that Victor had been standing in when out of the
corner of my eye I saw one of the rods start thumping. Instinctively
I grabbed the rod and reeled down...sure enough there was a fish.
I looked around and noticed Chromeseeker just standing there....I
shouted to Bart to come get this rod..."you've never gotten
a fish trolling before, so this is YOUR fight!"
Bart did it like a pro...didn't pump much (you're
not supposed to pump at all 'cause the boat is already putting on
constant pressure)...when the fish came to surface the diver was
just about at the rod tip...Little King instructed Bart that to
bring in the remaining line he'd have to walk back. No problem...our
second fish came to the boat.
And wouldn't you know it...it's a LAKE TROUT. My
first Lake Trout, Bart's first Lake Trout, I personally couldn't
have asked for a better turn of events. I only hoped more of the
guys would get a shot at some action.
Back to trolling, drinking, munching, chatting
and enjoying the afternoon. At times we really couldn't see the
shoreline. Arguably this is every bit as fun as a deep sea charter,
and a heck of a lot more affordable and closer!
Well, while chatting, I saw another rod go off
behind me. We had talked about "the order" earlier in
the day...aka. who would get the first fish, second fish etc...it
seems nothing was decided. So it ended up being whoever was closest
to the rod, they take it. I think that's actually a pretty fair
way to do it.
The third hit unfortunately didn't materialize
into a fish. Things continued to get darker, our time was running
out, so we got back to the harbor and parted ways after 6:00 or
So first, I owe everyone an apology as some folks
already know, I suck with names, especially since we had both real
and CLF names to deal with! Second, I owe you all a big thanks...I
know it wasn't an action packed outing but hey, I understand, that's
fishing. In my opinion it was a good trip, I recommend it. Afterall,
a charter is about more than just the fishing. It's spending time
on the water, in this case with a fantastic Captain and First Mate,
on a spacious boat, with enjoyable company for the afternoon. Who
cares if we caught a darn thing or not (but, hee hee, I got my first
So if you're one of those IL folks who refused
to buy a WI license, I can't think of a better Charter Capt. to
head out with than Capt. Jim & Lucky Dog. Generous, willing
to teach, fun even when the fishin' isn't happening...when I redo
the links page and add in charters for IL he's currently the only
one I'll be putting in there (afterall, I really don't link to folks
I don't know / can't recommend)! In other words, Lucky
Dog Charters is linkworthy in my book! Thanks yet again Capt.
Jim and Little King!
And just think...there's still plenty of time to
troll again this year... ;)